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Trump's Path Back Into the White House Is Far More Clear

AP Photo/Matt Freed
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Let’s face facts. It wasn’t looking good for former President Donald Trump in terms of his 2024 prospects. There were moments in the very recent past where he seemed like he was an unserious person, such as his release of NFT trading cards, which made the internet collectively groan. Even Steve Bannon threw up his hands and declared “I can’t do this anymore” upon the announcement.

Then, perhaps far more damaging, upon announcing his 2024 intentions, Trump immediately turned his attention to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and began flinging insults his way. Little jabs like “Ron DeSanctimonious” were met with a largely negative response. DeSantis is currently at the height of his popularity and a favorite for the 2024 GOP primary, according to recent polls. Attacking his work as the Governor of Florida while he’s being celebrated by the vast majority of Republican voters caused many people to walk away from the MAGA movement.

(READ: DeSantis Might Be a Tougher Nut to Crack than Trump Might Think)

Yes, negative attacks against one’s political opponent, even those in the same party, are pretty common and expected. However, Trump’s spray-and-pray method of insulting people really only works when the entirety of the field in front of him is filled with leftists, squishy Republicans, and the mainstream media. When it’s Republicans people actually like, the divisiveness works against him.

DeSantis always had the upper hand in this regard. Every time Trump insulted DeSantis, the governor could just turn around and keep being a good governor. He could ignore Trump and let his work do the talking for him. Ultimately, DeSantis could make Trump look like Eminem looked when the rapper kept going after Trump, but Trump kept ignoring him. Eminem ended up looking pretty pathetic.

Trump’s attacks on others can be both inspiring and entertaining to right-wing voters; he just has to exchange his M2 for a sniper rifle, which is kind of what he did recently in Ohio. His actions in East Palestine highlight what Trump’s strategy should be going forward if he wants to climb back to the top.

As my colleague Jeff Charles highlighted, Trump’s trip to East Palestine was a ripping success. For his campaign, it was a breath of fresh air that reinvigorated his reputation, which was steadily deflating. As Charles wrote, Trump’s visit reminded everyone of why they loved him in the first place:

And this, dear reader, is precisely what Trump needed to do. Yes, some of his haters are pooh-poohing his visit, accusing him of engaging in a photo-op. But none of that matters. The fact of the matter is that he was the first national political leader to show up.

But not only that, he also bought McDonald’s. Grabbing Big Macs for the people is classic Trump, and one of several reasons why people love him in the first place. It is exactly what he needed to energize his base – and possibly even people outside of it.

Since Trump first announced his presidency, his campaigning seemed a bit lackluster, which is not a hugely big deal considering it is still pretty early in the process. He has not done many major rallies since he threw his red hat into the ring. But now, this might just be the kickstart he needs.

Trump is uniquely positioned in a way that not even DeSantis is currently and to understand this, let’s take a look at the current political landscape.

Firstly, Trump was very popular with the GOP as President and despite the left’s best efforts, many people acknowledge that Trump’s stewardship of the economy was far and away better than the current administration. Many people still consider him their president and look to him for leadership.

Secondly, the Biden administration’s inability to be a serious administration continues to wear down both it and the Democrat Party. Not only did the Biden administration not show up for a very long time in East Palestine, but it flatly ignored the issue for as long as it could before the Streisand Effect took root. Where Biden is putting a lot of attention is Ukraine, where billions of American taxpayer dollars are being poured. You’d think Biden was the president of Ukraine, not America.

There’s clearly a vacancy for leadership in America and all Trump has to do is fill it.

All he has to do is be the President of the United States.

He needs to show up where Biden and his cronies won’t. He needs to show care and bring attention to the various communities that are suffering because of Biden’s incompetence or negligence. He needs to organize charities and work groups like those headed by Scott Pressler.

Moreover, he needs to recall the power of the American people, and the importance of the American worker, and remind everyone of the far more positive times that were had before the current administration came in.

The power of positivity and the inclusion of the American people in that positivity will reawaken a sleeping love of Trump, effectively paving his way back to the White House. He’d hardly have to fire one shot at DeSantis, just reserve all of his ammo for the left.

Time will tell how he adjusts his strategies, or if he does, but Trump the serial offender doesn’t seem to be working for him anymore. Trump the leader seems to be the identity would-be supporters want to see.

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